Europe Catastrophic floods: At least 120 dead, many still missing
Europe Catastrophic floods: At least 120 dead, many still missing

BRUSSELS: An upsetting flash floods due to intense rainfalls have swept through several western European countries in the past few days, killing more than 120 people, while many others remain missing,  according to local authorities. The federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate were hit particularly hard, with 43 people and 60 people killed respectively.

A large number of people are still missing. The district of Ahrweiler alone currently estimates about 1,300 missing people, while around 3,500 are being treated in care facilities. Germany's Ministry of Defence has issued a military disaster alert on Friday, deploying more than 850 soldiers for rescue work and the number is increasing. In Belgium, a national day of mourning has been set for July 20 for the victims of the severe weather in recent days.

In Germany, where the death toll now stands at over 100, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a determined battle against climate change.  At least 20 people have died in Belgium. The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland are also affected. Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely.

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